Just a few decades ago, you would’ve needed a pocketful of quarters to play the latest fighting games at the local arcade. For better or for worse, those days are far gone. The latest Android tablets play almost every fighting game under the sun, including Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.

Though many of them offer controller support, even the simplest fighting games require exceptional skill and reflexes. It takes time to master all the various combos, special attacks, and finishers. While similar in concept, they’re far more demanding than vibrant beat ’em ups on Android. But no matter if you’re into old-school franchises or modern fighting games, whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran, we’ve got you covered.

Forget about the pocketful of quarters because we’ve shortlisted the best free and premium fighting games on Android.

1 Brawlhalla

Unless you own a Nintendo console, Brawlhalla is likely the closest you’ll get to playing a Super Smash Bros game. Brawlhalla pits you and up to 7 other players on a single level in a battle to see who falls the least.

This frantic fighting game was released on PC and PlayStation 4 in 2017, with an Android release in 2020, and has enjoyed a steady stream of updates ever since. Brawlhalla features over 20 different game modes and over 50 unique characters to play. Since this is a Ubisoft game, you’ll find characters from the company’s other titles, such as Ezio and Rayman.

But Brawlhalla constantly introduces new crossovers, including characters from other franchises, movies, and even real-world fighters. Expect to play with the likes of Lara Croft, Negan, and John Cena.

2 Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball Legends is based on the popular anime/manga and features hundreds of characters from the long-running series. There’s a lot to love about this vibrant fighting game, including art by Akira Toriyama, who’s also known for creating art for Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest games.

Battles unfold in open 3D environments. As per the series’ tradition, characters float high above the ground and punch each other into mountains as they unleash physics-defying super moves.

Collect Arts Cards to pummel your opponents up close or devastate them from afar, either in the game’s unique storyline or against players online. Dragon Ball Legends also boasts RPG elements, which means that your characters level up and grow stronger the more battles you win.

3 EA Sports UFC Mobile 2

As far as licensed fighting games on Android go, you’re not exactly spoiled for choice. Specifically, if you follow UFC and feel like virtually recreating fights between famous fighters, you’re going to have to go with EA Sports UFC Mobile 2. Thankfully, it’s an exceptional simulation of the sport.

EA Sports Mobile 2 features fighters, both male and female, across all weight categories. You can expect to play as world-renowned athletes like Nate Diaz, Stipe Miocic, Jade Namajunas, Holly Holm, and a lot more. Every fighter comes with their signature martial arts move sets that you can further improve via the game’s engaging RPG system.

4 Final Fighter: Fighting Game

Final Fighter has a more modern look to it, akin to something like the Tekken series. Even certain character designs will remind you of Bandai Namco’s signature fighting franchise.

Final Fighter features a set of commands, different combinations of which lead to various combos and special moves. Stronger combos require more specific input with the game’s on-screen joystick, but the game caters to players who wish to mash buttons as well.

Sure, Final Fighter’s Engrish translation leaves a lot to be desired, and the story doesn’t make much sense. But in terms of solid fighting mechanics and character design, Final Fighter deserves a go.

5 Garou: Mark of the Wolves

It doesn’t get any closer to playing a coin-op arcade fighting game than Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Originally released on the NeoGeo, a console known for its exceptional fighting games, Garou is the last entry in the famed Fatal Fury series on the platform. In other words, expect a 2D fighting game that plays as a peak 90s release.

Garou features pivotal characters from the series, spearheaded by Terry Bogard, Jenet Behrn, and Butt. Yes, Butt. And if you want to experience the game to its fullest, in addition to using digital on-screen controls, Garou allows you to connect a bluetooth controller of your choice.

Granted, unlike the other games on this list, Garou costs $3.99 on the Play Store, but it won’t ever pester you with in-app purchases or lootboxes.

6 Injustice 2

Injustice 2 sees you take control of Batman and other notable heroes from the DC universe in an attempt to rebuild the Justice League. By completing missions, you’ll collect hero shards that are useful for adding heroes/villains to your roster.

From superhero icons like Superman and Wonder Woman to mischievous villains like the Joker and Harley Quinn, Injustice 2 allows you to build a team comprised of your favorite characters and unleash their unique super moves against anyone foolish enough to stand in the way.

7 Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel or DC? If you’re on the former side of the fence, you may want to play Marvel Contest of Champions over Injustice 2. Contest of Champions features pretty much every Marvel character you could think of: Spider-Man, Venom, Iron Man, Hulk, and many more.

Furthermore, they gain bonuses when paired up with other characters that make sense lore-wise. Assemble Guardians of the Galaxy and see their stats rise exponentially. Each character boasts a set of devastating attacks, all the more emphasized by the game’s semi-destructible levels.

Contest of Champions will test your team to the max via the story that pits you against Marvel’s most formidable villains.

8 Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat has always been about gratuitous violence and intentional misspelling of the word “combat.” And there’s certainly enough of both in this iteration on Android. Mortal Kombat features the same over-the-top fatalities that you’ve come to expect from the series.

In addition, you’ll find a plethora of content to go through, including collecting character cards from the series, equipping them with weapons and armor, leveling up, and much more. It’s not the most visually impressive fighting game out there, but being able to play Mortal Kombat on the go makes up for it.

9 Skullgirls: Fighting RPG

Skullgirls boasts some of the most fluid and responsive battle animations on this list. Swiping back makes your character backstep, while swiping forward prompts an offensive dash toward your opponent. Tapping in quick succession builds a combo that simultaneously accumulates your superpower meter. With a quick tap on the bottom left of the screen, your character unleashes a vibrant special move.

Skullgirls excels at intuitive fast-paced combat, but it also looks the part. Characters are reminiscent of early Disney cartoons. Beautiful vistas in the background give you a reason to stop pummeling your opponent every once in a while to enjoy the view. A jazzy soundtrack may not sound like the best fit for a fighting game, but you’d be surprised by how well it all meshes into one of the best fighting experiences on Android.

10 Street Fighter IV CE

Street Fighter is one of the longest-surviving fighting game series, dating back all the way to 1987. Street Fighter IV CE brings the series to mobile and, while it obviously lacks in visuals in comparison to its console counterparts, is still among the best fighting games on Android.

Street Fighter IV CE is free to download, but the full experience costs $4.99. Unlocking the game gives you access to a roster of 32 fighters, including Ryu, Chun Li, Cammy, and the Android exclusive, Dan. In addition to that, you can take part in the traditional Arcade mode or a variety of multiplayer modes.

11 WWE Mayhem

The Rock, Ronda Rousey, Mr. T, and Undertaker; do these names sound familiar? WWE Mayhem features these and hundreds more characters in its expansive roster of wrestling superstars. Each fighter represents one of the game’s unique classes and boasts a set of signature moves.

There’s an extensive story mode in place that lets you relive classic fights from wrestling history. Alternatively, you can fight other players online or partake in weekly challenges that provide various rewards. WWE Mayhem will likely appeal to players who enjoy a cartoonified take on wrestling.

12 Zombie Ultimate Fighting Champ

Zombie Ultimate Fighting Champ takes place in the near future, where humans are injected with a serum that turns them into… you guessed it, zombies. You form a team comprised of a variety of zombies and participate in a series of events across four leagues to ultimately confront the strongest of them all: Papa Rainbow.

Thankfully, zombies that you take control of are no less intimidating and varied. Johnluna is a fearsome werewolf-zombie hybrid, while Tombstone resembles a zombified representation of WWE’s The Undertaker. Then there is Chuckles, who looks like a zombie version of Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. Each one comes with a set of unique parameters and special abilities, as well as weapons and armor to customize them with.

The best fighting games on Android worth playing

Fighting games on Android cover a wide spectrum. On one end, you’ve got games that cater to fans of the classic games. These are the veteran titles of the genre, like Garou and Mortal Kombat.

On the other end, you’ll find titles like Dragon Ball Legends and Skullgirls that reel you in with vivid visuals and detailed character animations.

Did we forget to mention your favorite fighting game? Mention your game of choice in the comments below to share the wealth so everyone can get in on the fun.

Conclusion on 12 best fighting games on Android in 2023

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